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When the Trucker Leaves: Hit-and-Run Crashes with Semi-Trucks

When the Trucker Leaves: Hit-and-Run Crashes with Semi-TrucksA hit-and-run crash involving a semi-truck can be frightening and devastating. Due to the size and weight of these large trucks, the potential for serious injury and damage is significant.

If you are injured in a semi-truck accident and the driver leaves the scene, it is important for you to know that you have legal options, and a truck accident lawyer can help you pursue the best option based on your unique facts and circumstances.

Why would a trucker leave the scene of an accident?

There are several reasons why a trucker might flee the scene of an accident:

  • Fear or panic
  • Drunk or intoxicated driving
  • Lack of insurance coverage
  • Fear of losing job
  • Expired driver’s or CDL license
  • Disobeying laws or rules
  • Distracted driving

Sometimes, truck drivers are unaware that they have struck another vehicle due to their large blind spots, higher seating position, and visibility issues. Therefore, there is a possibility that the truck driver may have thought that they hit a pothole, object, or debris in the roadway when they hit your vehicle.

Who can I file a lawsuit against for a hit-and-run truck accident case?

Several parties can be held liable for a hit-and-run truck accident, including, truck driver, their employer or trucking company, the owner of the truck or trailer, the loading crew, a mechanic or maintenance crew, the manufacturer, the owner of the roadway, and more. To hold these parties accountable, you must have strong evidence that their negligence caused the accident and your subsequent injuries.

How do I prove a trucker left the scene of the accident?

Proving that a truck driver fled the scene can be challenging but not impossible with the help of a Phoenix truck accident attorney. They will help you establish liability, prove that the hit-and-run trucker caused your accident, and even try to assist in locating them if they have not already been found. Here are some of the evidence pieces that your attorney may help you collect to prove that the at-fault trucker left the scene of your accident:

  • Witness statements
  • Photos and videos
  • Surveillance footage
  • Dashboard camera footage
  • Truck damage
  • Logbooks
  • Cell phone records
  • Police reports

Truck drivers may claim that they were unaware of the accident, but this defense typically only applies if the damage is minimal. Significant damage suggests that they knew and chose to flee.

Is it illegal for a truck driver to flee the accident scene in Phoenix?

Yes, it is illegal for any driver, including truck drivers, to leave the scene of an accident. This is considered a crime in Phoenix and across the United States. If a truck driver cannot be located, and you cannot prove their involvement, receiving compensation can be difficult unless you have uninsured motorist coverage.

How can a lawyer help me with a hit-and-run truck accident?

Handling hit-and-run truck accident cases alone is not advisable due to its complexity. A skilled lawyer can assist you by:

  • Conduct an independent investigation
  • Documenting the hit-and-run scene
  • Taking photographs and videos of the accident scene
  • Requesting surveillance footage from nearby residents and businesses
  • Obtaining the police report
  • Communicating with law enforcement
  • Finding and interviewing eyewitnesses
  • Hiring expert witnesses
  • Gathering evidence to support your claim
  • Communicating with your insurance company
  • Prepare for trial if necessary

What may happen if the truck driver is or is not found?

If the truck driver is found and proven to be at fault, they will face consequences for both the accident and fleeing the scene. They will be required to compensate you for medical bills, lost income, and property damage, and may face fine lines and jail time. If the driver is not found, you will need to seek compensation from your own insurance company, provided you have uninsured motorist coverage.

Information that may be able to help locate a missing hit-and-run truck driver

Documenting specific information immediately after an accident can be crucial. This information may be able to help your lawyer or the responding officers locate the missing hit-and-run truck driver. Some of the information you should remember includes:

  • The color of the truck or trailer
  • The direction they were going
  • Their license plate number
  • Any advertisements, logos, company names, or writing on the truck or trailer
  • Details of how the truck driver looked (hair color, shirt color, glasses, man or woman, etc.)

This is one reason why it’s so important to purchase uninsured motorist coverage. If the truck driver (or any driver) hits you and cannot be found, your UM/UIM coverage will fill in.

The truck accident lawyers at Plattner Verderame, P.C. are experienced and knowledgeable in the laws surrounding truck accident cases, including hit-and-run truck accident cases. Therefore, when you hire our firm, you can have peace of mind, knowing that we will use our experience, skills, and resources to make sure that you receive the best results possible for your case. For help after your hit-and-run crash, call our office or submit our contact form today to schedule a free consultation at our Tempe or Phoenix office.